Is the new upgrade a step up or much of the same?
Tech giant Apple, while currently involved in a tussle with the French government, has unveiled the new generation of smartwatches, with the whole line receiving a new upgrade across the board, including a much-anticipated successor to its adventure-centered Apple Watch Ultra.
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 in particular is the beneficiary of several exciting new upgrades that raise the game for its competitors, such as enhanced screen brightness, improved offline capabilities, and a whopping 30% boost in performance thanks to the inclusion of the powerful new S9 silicon chip.
However, the new Ultra 2 comes with no small price tag, at an eye-watering $800, but is that worth the upgrade? In this article, we’ll examine the differences between the two models and whether it’s worth the added expense.
Both the Ultra and its successor are built specifically with outdoor pursuits in mind, such as traveling, hiking, backpacking, diving, you name it. Unless you’re going to ascend the highest peak or descend to the deepest abyssal trench, then the fact that both watches are designed to sustain under those conditions won’t be of much use to you.
For slightly more mundane pursuits like recreational diving or hiking, both watches will more than suit your needs, with the Ultra 2 able to track dives that its predecessor cannot. Likewise, the Ultra 2 has hand gesture features not available to the Ultra whereby you can operate features on the watch by simple gestures.
2. Battery Life
With regards to battery longevity and lifespan, both models are essentially at a dead heat, with 36 hours of uninterrupted power before needing to charge up. On low power mode, you can double that lifespan to 72 hours, but this minimizes operations of the watch to all but absolutely essential functions.
The display screen for the Ultra 2 has gained a rather impressive boost in brightness to 3,000 nits, making it an undoubted improvement on the Ultra to the measure of 50%. Additionally, a new ‘night mode’ kicks in when the surrounding environment is dark, enhancing screen visibility even further.
The display size has been increased by a mere 1 mm, but Apple has ensured that the slightly larger screen is packed to the gills, with widgets and apps clearly visible from the outset.
A significant new upgrade to the Ultra 2 is the ability for Siri to operate offline for the first time. Meaning that regardless of where you are and whether you have a WiFi signal or not, the trusted voice assistant will be available for use. This new capability is noteworthy for it adds increased data protection for your private information. There has also been a 25% increase in Siri’s overall understanding of requests, thanks to the aforementioned S9 chip.
As mentioned, the Ultra 2 comes with the premium price tag of $800, which if you already have the Ultra is a rather steep and potentially unnecessary additional cost for the new features you get.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal choice in that if the new capabilities of the Ultra 2 prove to be highly advantageous to your individual lifestyle, then by all means, go for it. If, however, you are perfectly satisfied with the Ultra and feel no pressing circumstantial need to upgrade to Ultra 2 then it’s probably best you stick with what you already have.